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Why Tie A Product Consumers Do Not Use?

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  • Dennis W. Carlton
  • Joshua S. Gans
  • Michael Waldman

Abstract

This paper provides a new explanation for tying that is not based on any of the standard explanations -- efficiency, price discrimination, and exclusion. Our analysis shows how a monopolist sometimes has an incentive to tie a complementary good to its monopolized good in order to transfer profits from a rival producer of the complementary product to the monopolist. This occurs even when consumers -- who have the option to use the monopolist's complementary good -- do not use it. The tie is profitable because it alters the subsequent pricing game between the monopolist and the rival in a manner favorable to the monopolist. We show that this form of tying is socially inefficient, but interestingly can arise only when the tie is socially efficient in the absence of the rival producer. We relate this inefficient form of tying to several actual examples and explore its antitrust implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis W. Carlton & Joshua S. Gans & Michael Waldman, 2007. "Why Tie A Product Consumers Do Not Use?," NBER Working Papers 13339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13339
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    11. Gans, Joshua S., 2011. "Remedies for tying in computer applications," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 505-512, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuroda, Toshifumi & Koguchi, Teppei & Ida, Takanori, 2019. "Identifying the effect of mobile operating systems on the mobile services market," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 86-95.
    2. Sjaak Hurkens & Doh-Shin Jeon & Domenico Menicucci, 2019. "Dominance and Competitive Bundling," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 1-33, August.
    3. Andrei Hagiu & Bruno Jullien & Julian Wright, 2020. "Creating Platforms by Hosting Rivals," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(7), pages 3234-3248, July.
    4. Dennis W. Carlton & Joshua S. Gans & Michael Waldman, 2010. "Why Tie a Product Consumers Do Not Use?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 85-105, August.
    5. Joshua S. Gans, 2011. "When is Static Analysis a Sufficient Proxy for Dynamic Considerations? Reconsidering Antitrust and Innovation," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 11, pages 55-78, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jihui Chen, 2011. "Do Exclusivity Arrangments Harm Consumers?," Working Paper Series 20111001, Illinois State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Jihui Chen & Qiang Fu, 2017. "Do exclusivity arrangements harm consumers?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 311-339, June.
    8. Claudio Lucarelli & Sean Nicholson & Minjae Song, 2010. "Bundling Among Rivals: A Case of Pharmaceutical Cocktails," NBER Working Papers 16321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Toshifumi Kuroda & Teppei Koguchi & Takanori Ida, 2017. "Identifying the Effect of Mobile Operating Systems on the Mobile Services Market," Discussion papers e-17-004, Graduate School of Economics , Kyoto University.
    10. Hyunjin Kim & Michael Luca, 2019. "Product Quality and Entering Through Tying: Experimental Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(2), pages 596-603, February.
    11. Andrei Hagiu & Daniel Spulber, 2013. "First-Party Content and Coordination in Two-Sided Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(4), pages 933-949, April.
    12. Kenneth S. Corts, 2018. "How the source of the entrant's advantage limits entry‐deterring tying," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 51(2), pages 510-527, May.
    13. Gans, Joshua S., 2012. "Mobile application pricing," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 52-59.
    14. Gans, Joshua S., 2011. "Remedies for tying in computer applications," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 505-512, September.
    15. Jørgen Veisdal, 2020. "The dynamics of entry for digital platforms in two-sided markets: a multi-case study," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 30(3), pages 539-556, September.
    16. Joao Macieira & Pedro Pereira & Joao Vareda, 2013. "Bundling Incentives in Markets with Product Complementarities: The Case of Triple-Play," Working Papers 13-15, NET Institute.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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